Preventing Dog Bites: A lecture in child and dog safety
In honor of Dog Bite Prevention Month and families with dogs welcoming new babies, Equipaws Pet Services and Applause Your Paws, Inc. are co-hosting a fun and educational event, “Preparing for Life with Dog & Baby.” Dee Hoult, expert trainer and owner of Applause Your Paws, will give a lecture teaching parents and children how to live and play safely around dogs and prevent dog bites. Children’s author Roxanna Elden will read from her wonderful book “Rudy’s New Human.” Told from the point of view of Rudy, a scrappy schnauzer mix ready to share his life with his new sister, we journey with him through some unexpected experiences on the road to becoming his new human’s friend. Attendees will get to meet Rudy, too!
Families with babies, small children, or even anyone working with children would benefit from joining us for this free event from 6:00-8:00 p.m. on May 19, 2016 at the Applause Your Paws facility, 4423 SW 74th Ave, Miami, FL 33155. Light refreshments and snacks will be provided. Attendees are encouraged to RSVP to email@example.com or call Frankie Berti at 305.794.3733, ext. 506, for more information.
Approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur yearly in the United States, with many of them being completely preventable according to the Centers for Disease Control. A new baby in the house is a joyful learning experience for both parents and pup. New parents have a lot to teach their human and furry children about each other. A crying, wriggly newborn is a completely alien experience for most dogs, inspiring anywhere from a confused to a very strong response. Setting your dog and child up for success is easy if you have the knowledge. Dee Hoult will teach parents basic, vital knowledge from her popular dog and baby seminars which she’s been giving at South Miami Hospital since 2010. Local children’s author Roxanna Elden will share from her experience as a new mother and what inspired her to write her award-winning book, “Rudy’s New Human.”
We encounter strange dogs daily while walking dogs around Miami, so we have a tip or two to prevent dog bites. It’s important to know that every dog can and will bite under certain circumstances. Sometimes the pet is in pain; sometimes they are possessive of toys… You can be prepared and prevent dog bites by following what we write about in this post. We hope it helps!
Responsible pet ownership and education are the keys to preventing dog bites. The first step is choosing the right dog for your home. Second, and just as important: the way you raise your dog, the way it lives, has as much to do with its personality and behavior as its breed (some would argue it’s all about nurture!). If your only wish is to adopt a Malinois, for example, make sure you are ready to give it the exercise and mental stimulation it requires. Some dogs really do NEED exercise; if you prefer to spend your nights on the couch (and we’re not judging- because sometimes, that sounds fabulous!), an active dog is simply not for you.
Other ways to avoid dog bites include:
- Socialize your dog at an early age so they’re comfortable around people and other animals. Puppies should be touched and held often to get them used to human contact.
- Teach your children that not every dog is friendly or open to approach and that they should ask permission before petting a strange dog.
- Don’t put your dog in a position where it feels threatened or teased; especially don’t take a leashed dog into a leash-free dog park!
- Train your dog! They need to know what is expected of them. The training is fun for the dogs, who need to work, and it will build a beautiful bond between you.
- Exercise, exercise, exercise: do it regularly to maintain great health and mental stimulation
- No Wrestling! Avoid highly excitable games like tug-of-war or wrestling, which put your dogs in the position of potentially biting.
- Always use a leash in public.
- Neuter or spay your dog.
- Never, ever tie your dog up in your backyard. This creates intense frustration and pent-up aggression. Tragedies can occur when this poor dog finally breaks loose. Aside from that, tethering your dog is illegal in Miami-Dade County unless you comply with a lengthy list of criteria.
- If you keep your dog in a fenced-in yard, secure the gates and fences.
This list is just a cursory overview to get you started. We will be covering what to do with an aggressive dog in a later post, as well as specific behaviors you can look out for in pets that may warn you before a bite occurs.
In the meantime, some great reading material includes “Dogs: A New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior, and Evolution,” by Raymond and Lorna Coppinger, as well as “How to Speak Dog” by Stanley Coren.
We hope this information helps! Have you ever been bitten by a dog or avoided being bitten by using some of these precautions? Let us know in the comments, below!
Our pet sitters know a lot about dogs, cats, and the myriad of endearing little animals we care for throughout Miami, but we constantly seek additional education in our field. Pet sitters Flavia Berti and Tom Wyss attended the Dog Bite Investigation Seminar sponsored by No Kill Nation, Inc. and the Miami Coalition Against Breed-Speicific Legislation on April 25, 2013.
They heard from expert Jim Crosby, a retired lieutenant and dog trainer who spoke to police about what they do and how they assess certain situations when there are dogs involved in crime scenes, in dog bites, or alleged dog attacks and fatalities. Flavia and Tom took away two main messages from Mr. Crosby: every dog can and will bite if in pain or provoked, and the importance of education and responsible pet ownership in preventing dog bites.